Well that’s not strictly true. As a woman who never knowingly undercaters, we do have a few tasty morsels to sustain us this week. The Christmas feast went really well, if I say so myself. Sheree’s little helper was indeed a dab hand with the vegetable peeler and, also, very adept with a whisk and mixing spoon. He’s elected to stay until Christmas Eve, when I’ll be reluctantly handing him back. He was a big help with the clearing up and he’s proved more adroit at loading the dishwasher than my beloved. His chilli chocolate truffles were a big hit and, after sending my guests home with goody bags choc-full of truffles, we’ve more in the freezer for when only a hit of chocolate will do.
His efforts will not go unrewarded. I’ll be making him French toast for breakfast before we head out together for a ride and the start of my Rapha 500 Challenge. I’ve never done this before on the basis that it’s really to encourage those in less favourably climatic spots to get out on their bikes, or that’s what told myself. But I’ve since discovered that’s not the case and so will be logging kilometres covered for the next seven days.
We’re meeting up with my little helper’s Dad which might just prove my undoing. It’s fine riding with pros on the flat, or even going downhill. At this time of year they just putter along at 30km/h. I can maintain this with ease on the flat but, as soon as the road turns upwards, I go backwards. I can’t employ my trick of “doing a McEwan” – ghosting to the front of the peloton before sliding gently through it as we ascend – as there’s only four of us. Meanwhile, my friend the pro, still in his big gear, will maybe shift his little ring into something larger and continue pedalling and talking with ease at the same speed.
After our ride we’ll return for one of my beloved’s favourite meals, a fry up. I don’t mean a full English but some of yesterday’s leftovers turned into a large bubble and squeak. We’ll have to see how my little helper enjoys this quaint British Boxing Day traditional fare. He is rather partial to a roast potato and they were particularly crunchy yesterday thanks to the liberal application of boiling hot goose fat. Well it is only once a year!
We typically indulge in oysters on Christmas Eve and foie gras on Christmas Day but, in view of yesterday’s blow out, we’ll be enjoying rather plainer fare. I’m thinking plenty of crunchy salads, home-made soup – NOT turkey – and fish. Yes, we’re starting our New Year’s resolutions early.